It’s Electric!

I can be impulsive in my decision making.  This reckless side of me is what landed me in my first 5K which will take place in September.

Due to my lupus I kissed running goodbye in 2007 and I had made amends with the fact that my knees and joints were just no good.  So, while I did intend on walking at a brisk pace at some point in life, running wasn’t in the cards.

That was until Bikram yoga.  Now- I don’t want to come off as all preachy and swear on the holy book of Bikram that this is the be all end all to my knee problems, because it’s not.  However, I will tell you it changed my life.

Let’s flash back to May 2, 2013 when I had a flare that lasted for 2 weeks.  I wont get into the details, but it wasn’t very fun.  In my misery, as I lay couch ridden for 1 week, I determined that I couldn’t live like this.  I was running myself into the ground in all aspects of life and I continuously felt pulled in a million directions.  It was then that I remembered how much fun it is to not lay on a couch all day and I decided that as soon as my health was back I was going to be a better version of myself.

When life returned to normal I signed up for a 20 days for $20 stint at a Hot Yoga studio.  I am not one to shy away from a challenge and a 90 degree room seemed pretty challenging.  It was.  And it was glorious. For the first time my joints felt good.  They felt loose and limber and I felt like I was able to push myself in a positive environment with wonderful instructors.

A short 20 days later and it was all over. So I was off to another yoga adventure challenge that I could afford, 30 days for $30 at a Bikram studio.  I’m not a liar who is going to tell you that it is the most wondrous and fulfilling thing ever, because it’s not. Bikram is not hot yoga- it’s another breed of monster entirely which takes place in a 105 degree, brightly lit, studio of hell.  Every time I got ready to go to class I began to feel myself get sick.  My throat started itching.  My stomach would hurt. A headache would come on.  I swear my body was trying to sabotage my workout.  Thankfully, I used the power within, and a technique I spoke about previously, getting your friends to go with you, to force me through.

The truth is, I dreaded going, I hated being in it, but when the 1.5 hour class was over, it was over, and I felt unbelievable.  Soaking wet and drenched in sweat, but unbelievable.  It was in Bikram that I could challenge everything I thought I could do.  It was such a mental accomplishment that it made me realize how capable anyone can truly be.  Bikram did not discriminate- there were people of all talents, ages, genders, shapes and sizes.  And I didn’t care how sweaty and gross I was because no one pays attention to anyone- it’s too damn hot.

It was in that room that I learned how to breath, something I practice in many aspects of daily life for example, when my road rage begins to kick in, playing board games, and most important to the theme of this blog, my new adventures in running.

Maybe it was the heat, the stretching, the time, but I can run.  Flash forward to September and I will be partaking in the Electric Run, a 5K for people who apparently love glow sticks.  I signed up on a whim as I was coming down from a Bikram high.  My wonderful and good-natured friend asked me to do it, and my impulses and I can do anything attitude took over and here I am.  Today I ran in the rain and I felt liberated by everything that held me back before.  Thank you, Bikram.  You devil.

Electric Run NYC

Doing time.

image

Tuesday 2 miles 20 minutes
Wednesday 2 miles 20 minutes
Thursday 2 miles 20 minutes
Friday 2 miles 18 minutes
Saturday 2 miles 16 minutes

And as proud as I am of myself, this morning took a lot of self convincing.

I had a full blown internal dialogue that was a mix between trying to motivate me and rationalizing why I shouldn’t have to go.
“You don’t have to go now.  You can go tonight.”
“There is no way I’m going tonight. I want to watch Orange is the New Black like it’s a marathon.”
“Then skip a day… it won’t hurt. You deserve a break.”

The end of this conversation resulted in me putting on my sneakers (that usually ends all conversations with myself.  The sneakers are on.  Shut up.)  I also employed one of my favorite methods of motivation- convincing someone to be your running partner.  And then I did it, I walked out the door and ran an 8 minute mile, my best time.  And that’s why it’s all worth it. Mind over everything.

And check out that view.  That’s also why it’s worth it.